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UNFCCC COP24 Side Event "Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Protecting the rights of the most vulnerable (and furthest behind)"

10 December 2018|Event

Organized by OHCHR, UN Women, UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNDP, UN HABITAT, ILO and ECLAC, the side event will analyse how the Paris Agreement Work Programme can and should ensure the right to participation, particularly for persons living in poverty that are disproportionately affected by climate change, and discuss concrete examples of how employing a participatory human rights based approach to climate action promotes sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. Speakers will reflect on the role of the recently adopted Escazú Agreement and the Aarhus Convention, as specific tools to mainstream public participation in climate action.

Summary: Participants will discuss how climate actions and policies that respect, promote and protect the human rights of persons, groups and peoples that are disproportionately affected by climate change, particularly their right to participate, can help lift them out of poverty and catalyze transformative climate action. The discussion will further focus on synergies between SDG 1, the Paris Agreement, Rio Principle 10, and human rights, highlighting the importance of inclusive, participatory processes at the UNFCCC, including in the context of the Paris Agreement Work Programme, in order to ensure that climate policies and actions are shaped by and benefit those who are most affected by climate change such as the poor, indigenous peoples, women, children, migrants and workers in the informal economy. It will also highlight examples of good practice in implementation of inclusive, participatory climate actions that leave no one behind (i.e. in the context of disaster risk reduction, community empowerment, slum upgrading, green jobs and livelihoods) and ensure a just transition to environmental sustainability, as well as the role of UN cooperation in addressing climate risks of the poor and vulnerable.

Objective:  To highlight the importance of a human rights based approach to climate action for the eradication of all forms of poverty and particularly to promote the effective enjoyment of the right to participation by all in climate decision-making by emphasizing that this is both an ethical and legal obligation of States and imperative for more effective decision-making.

18:30 pm CET time

Moderator: Mr. Benjamin Schachter, Human Rights Officer, Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights

Opening remarks: H. E. Ms. Carole Dieschbourg, Minister of Environment, Luxembourg


Ms. Marcia Levaggi, Director General for Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina

Ms. Sheela Patel, Head, Slum Dwellers International

Ms Angelina Mensah, Deputy Director for communication and negotiators in charge of climate response measures for Ghana

Mr. Crispin D’Auvergne, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management Coordinator, Environmental Sustainability Cluster, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

Practical information

This side event will be broadcast via Skype Meeting Broadcast and will be available on the side events webcast page: